Me & My Money

Liv O’Donoghue, dancer/choreographer

 

Are you a saver or a spender?
Definitely not a saver. It can be tricky as a dancer to earn a good living. I get by living hand to mouth, project to project. It’s not a bad life, though, and I quite enjoy not knowing where my next gig will be.


Do you shop around for better value?
Yes. Thankfully, Dublin’s a small town so trekking across the city to save a fiver sometimes seems reasonable.


What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Many years ago, I bought a one-of-a-kind antique Indian bracelet that cost €400. It’s really special to me but, thinking about it now, I can’t believe I spent that on a piece of jewellery. I think I was around 21 and had just started really earning.


What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
Probably my iPad. It’s become essential for my work and I use it every day. It’s also so handy when I’m away touring and is great for holding in your hand while learning new dance material from video.


Do you haggle over prices?
I wish I did but I’m too meek . . . I’ve even toured to several countries where it’s expected that the customer haggles, and I still can’t bring myself to.


Has the recession changed your spending habits?
As a dancer, I’ve never had much money so I haven’t had to change my lifestyle too much. However, in the past couple of years, I’m noticing the funding cuts for the arts more and more. I’m a strong believer in the value of the arts – we really need to continue to support it.


What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
My tickets for the Dublin Dance Festival. Luckily, I get a special artists’ pass so it’s particularly good value, but it’s worth spending money on the theatre, especially when you think of the months of work that have gone into creating the show on which you are probably only spending about €15.


Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I got my first Macbook when I was still at college, so it was a fairly extravagant purchase for a student. I had been saving for it for ages, but it was worth it in the end. In the long run, it actually saved me money, as I was able to do all my own choreographic editing and work much more efficiently.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
I’ve never really gambled, and would rarely even play the lottery, though I did play bingo once on tour in Scotland. There was nothing to do on our day off in Stirling, so we thought it would be a laugh to join the local club. I ended up winning £100 (€116), which disappeared quickly in the excitement when I offered to buy everyone a drink.

How much money do you have on you now?
€4.71 – enough to keep my caffeine and chocolate cravings at bay.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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